Absolute Horizons

Act 1

John is working on a report, tapping at the keyboard with two fingers when Paul comes swooping down, his fists rattling the length of John’s desk. 

“What?” John asks. 

Paul cuts straight to the chase. “Lou says you’re off for Thanksgiving.” 

“What’s it to you?” 

“How can you be off for Thanksgiving?” Paul says. “You haven’t taken a single holiday off since – since I don’t remember, that’s why.” 

Connie, who’s at the other end of the room, calls out, “Paul, quit being a douche for five minutes.” 

“Can’t ask the man to do something he doesn’t know,” John says. He meets Paul’s squinting gaze easily enough – Paul may be a decent cop, that doesn’t excuse him from being a tool. 

“If I get held back, it’s your fault,” Paul says. 

“Keep working on that,” John says, getting back to typing. “Maybe one day, if you keep at it real hard, I might actually give a shit.” 

It’s a stupid comment, so he forgets about it. 

+ + + 

Some hours later John gets home, where he is hit with the faint smell of something burning the moment he opens the door.  

A couple of months ago it would’ve been cause for alarm, but today John just steps in, locks the door and hangs his jacket. He can hear someone talking in the kitchen, but the words are not meant for him – they’re too faint and the tone is wrong. 

John is in the middle of emptying his pockets when Matt walks out into the living area with his headset on. 

“—no, you’re the one who’s supposed check the Main S for conflict, you know you always forget to — oh, hey, I killed your oven, don’t mind the smell – no, you shut up, just check it, dumbass—” Matt wanders off into the spare bedroom, his voice trailing off as he disappears. 

John checks the kitchen for damage, but the walls aren’t scorched and none of the cupboards are burnt. The oven, however, is not in its rightful place and is instead in the middle of the breakfast table, smoking gently. 

“Okay, so I’ve already ordered a new one,” Matt says, voice coming from somewhere behind John. “They said it’d be here in a week, but that’s probably optimistic. I hope you don’t mind, but I got a really fancy one with lots of buttons on it ‘cause then it’s really good value… But
that probably means you’ll never be able to use it ever, which isn’t my fault because I think they quit this model around the time they did Reagan.” 

“An oven isn’t supposed to be rocket science,” John says, already knowing what the new one will look like. 

“Yeah,” Matt says slowly. “Sorry about that.” 

John frowns as he turns to look at Matt. The headset is gone and his hair is sticking up in places, but all that’s incidental to the slight worry line beneath his haphazard bangs. 

“Let me guess,” John says. “You went online shopping.” 

Matt’s eyes go shifty. “Maybe.” 

“You don’t even have a credit card.” 

John gets a stilted look for that. The worry line is gone when Matt says, “That’s not the only way to shop, you know. And before you ask, no, I haven’t been doing anything illegal because I’m a moral and upright citizen… You’re such a good influence.” 

“There better be something to eat around here,” John says, and sure enough, that’s got Matt rolling his eyes and picking up a bag of takeout that he shakes self-righteously in John’s direction.  

This doesn’t happen as often as it used to, unlike when John first opened his apartment door to Matt and it happened all the fucking time.  

Matt has a huge number of annoying habits, and John’s come to learn quite a few of them in the past couple of months since he moved in. He talks a lot, gets distracted real easy, changes his favorite drink every couple of weeks and gets annoyed when John doesn’t keep up, buys instant meals on a whim and forgets to actually eat them, and so on. But the worst of them all, and one of the few that genuinely bug John, is that thing he used to do where he’d treat John like a bomb that hadn’t gone off yet. 

John’s pretty sure that’s not the way Matt sees it. John’s used to getting that look at work from rookies who don’t know better and perps that get the full effect on purpose, but for crying out loud, not here.  

Okay, so Matt doesn’t do it like that anymore, not like in the early days when he’d constantly eye the waters for any sign of a dorsal fin, like he wasn’t completely welcome in John’s home. That part’s passed, but an echo of it pops up every now and then. 

“What’s that?” Matt says, and he’s right up in John’s personal space, pressing a finger to the place between John’s eyebrows. “You’re thinky! Hey, that’s a whole new look for you!” 

John grabs Matt’s hand, because this is another one of his annoying habits: he figures what John’s on about real quick

But that’s probably John’s fault. He shouldn’t have started sleeping with Matt. 

No, scratch that. Sleeping with Matt is actually one of John’s best ideas.  

Matt’s fingers are twisting into John’s shirt just as their mouths meet. The idea that Matt knew this was coming throws John a little, but that thought disappears because now he’s a man on a mission and that mission is to shove Matt right up against the counter.  

“Hey, hey, there’s dinner,” Matt says, pulling away from John’s mouth. “We can—” 

John swallows the words, forcing Matt’s back into what’s possibly an uncomfortable angle to keep him in place. While his tongue swipes deep, John’s hands are on Matt’s hips, working his thumbs through the space between cloth to find warm skin. Matt can go from zero to sixty at the flick of a switch, and he has. It’s goddamn encouraging, that’s what it is. 

“What’ve you been up to today?” John says, drawing his mouth up Matt’s cheek to his ear. 

“Oh, you know, boring stuff,” Matt replies. “Ruining my eyes, plotting to take over the world …” 

“The usual, then,” John says, hands undoing Matt’s pants and pushing them down.  

Matt’s chest vibrates with laughter. He’s quite the sight, all skin below the waistline of his faded t-shirt, and the grin just gets stupider when John’s hand moves, brushing past Matt’s dick as it goes under through heat slick with sweat.  

“I think this is unhygienic,” Matt says, tipping his head to one side in acknowledgement of their surroundings. But then he makes a sound like his tongue is stuck to his teeth, and that would be because John’s found his goal and pushed the tip of his finger in. 

“Probably,” John says, though he isn’t in the mood to talk. He works his way up to a knuckle, letting Matt relax around him, and if the way he tilts his head back and shudders is any indication, things are good. 

As John slides the finger back and forth, he’s thinking about how to move on from here. He could suck Matt off and then drag him to the bedroom to finish up, or he could just leave him like this (oh, he likes that idea), or he could— 

“Oh, shit!” 

Or Matt could just come before anything interesting happens. 

Matt’s eyes are wide, the orgasm apparently as much a surprise to him as it is to John. He exhales sharply and starts wriggling, flushed face turned away with embarrassment. 

John can’t help laughing, it’s hilarious.  

Matt’s mouth is betraying him, curving upwards despite the self-righteous glare he’s trying so hard to fake. John laughs until there’s no sound left, until Matt’s pushed John’s arms out of the way and well into getting John’s belt undone. 

“Damn, Matt,” John says, finally able to speak again. “I liked this shirt.” 

“I’m sorry, it was an accident, I was wired like you wouldn’t believe,” Matt says. His fingers are clumsy on John’s belt buckle. “Come on.” 

“Nah, it’s okay,” John says, pulling away. “You’re right, dinner first.” 

“Let me do it!” Matt insists.  

John’s still snickering as he gets a hand around Matt’s neck to take another kiss. But the kiss quickly turns into chuckles, because it just hits him right between the eyes how stupid this situation is, pressed against each other in the kitchen with their pants around their ankles. 

Stupid, certainly, but not crazy. 

John knows crazy, and this isn’t it. 

“Okay, okay, look,” Matt says, getting a hand firmly around John’s dick. “Can we focus for a moment? Thanks.” 

“Sure, whatever you say,” John says, letting Matt take the lead.  

He watches Matt’s face, the way his lips draw in tight like he’s processing a difficult problem, but getting John off isn’t difficult at all because he’s got years of being an accidental monk to make up for. Matt’s fingers are deft, clever things, making each pull more enjoyable than the last, but John’s not watching that action. He’s watching the way Matt’s tongue pokes out from the corner of his mouth as he concentrates, and when John can’t stand it anymore he surges forward to take that mouth, kissing deep while he comes. 

John pulls away, exhaling slowly as he savors the moment. 

“Okay, now we can have dinner,” Matt says, sounding chirpy. Then he looks at his hands. “Or maybe not right now, right now. This is kinda gross.” 

“And I need to change,” John says, glancing down at his shirt. He tucks himself back into his pants and heads to the bedroom to change. 

It’s in the bedroom, after changing, that John notices the printouts strewn across the bed.  

Matt has a printer in the spare room. He doesn’t use it much, but it’s easy to know when he does, because Matt can’t sit still when he works and ends up moving all around the apartment, dragging his stuff with him. These papers are part of that, but it’s the colored headers that catch John’s attention. 

He brings one back with him to the kitchen, where Matt (hands all washed) is laying out dinner. 

“What’s this?” John asks. 

“Hmm? Oh, yeah, I was comparing fares,” Matt says. “I usually take the Greyhound anyway but you know, with all those scares lately I decided to search for a couple of alternatives and – what? What, why are you, you totally forgot, didn’t you?” 

“Forgot what?” John says. 

“Or maybe I forgot, that could be it, it’s been all over the place…” Matt’s expression is the one he gets when his mouth is on autopilot while his brain struggles to catch up. John waits for Matt to get to the point, because he usually does, eventually. “Yeah – yeah, remember I said that thing, that thing about my mom?” 

“The one where you haven’t seen her since—” John says.  

“Right, that one,” Matt says quickly. “So I was thinking that now my knee’s a lot better and I’m probably good to travel, not that it’s all that far away, but you know what I mean about using public transport, right, and it would be a – I don’t know, a…” 

“It’d be good,” John says. 

“Yeah,” Matt says. “And so I called her, and she’d really like having me over ‘cause I haven’t been back there in like… Anyway, so I was only gonna go overnight, and I was gonna tell you. I wasn’t going to do something stupid like sneak out in the middle of the night because that would be stupid, and I promise not to talk to strangers or anything like that.” Matt’s eyes are unnerving at times like these, because the words stumble over each other but the gaze is steady and difficult to meet. 

“Right,” John says. “You might want to go early in the morning. Traffic’s a bitch.” 

“Um, yeah,” Matt says.  

“So how’s about that dinner?” John says, and the topic is changed. 

+ + + 

John goes to work, and doesn’t think about it.  

It’s not a problem if Matt wants to go away for Thanksgiving – actually, it’s a blessing. Matt doesn’t get out much besides the odd meeting with friends or clients, and it’s really great that he’s finally gotten back in touch with his mom. They’re not estranged, exactly, but John doesn’t know the full picture since Matt doesn’t like to talk about his family much (he talks like he breathes, so John notices the gaps).  

Anyway, John has other things to worry about. There’s work to do, forms to file and people to shout at.

They’re familiar daytime things that keep him busy. 

It’s the unfamiliar phone call that comes in just before lunch that grinds things to a halt. John spends the first few rings staring at the screen of his cell before he finally picks it up. 

“Hello?” he says. 

Hi, John,” Holly says. 

It’s the first time John’s heard her voice since that day in the hospital after the nationwide summer fuck up courtesy of one Thomas Gabriel turned out to be an important enough event for Holly to fly (once they got the planes working again) all the way out to see Lucy. Since John happened to be in the area, she’d dropped by to see him, too. 

But there hasn’t been a thing since, not that John expected there to be, not even when Lucy kept to her promise of occasionally checking in. It says a lot that now Holly’s on the line having called him, John’s automatically wondering what he did wrong this time. 

I have a meeting in the city tomorrow,” Holly says. “Just flew in, very last minute.” 

“Congratulations, you’re really racking up those frequent flyers,” John says. “So you going to see Lucy?” 

Tomorrow, yes,” Holly says. “But I was just… Would you like to have dinner tonight? If you’re not busy, of course.” 

“Yeah, dinner, sure,” John says. 

Okay, will do,” Holly says, and she gives him the name of the hotel she’s staying at. 

It’s only after she hangs up that John realizes exactly what just went down. 

He calls Matt to tell him that he’ll having dinner out, and Matt’s response is light and mockingly disinterested. John knows Matt’s assuming it’s because he’s going out for a drink with the guys, and he doesn’t know why he doesn’t correct that assumption. 

He tries not to think about that, too. 

+ + + 

Holly first started straightening her hair somewhere in the middle of John being the long-distance asshole for the second time, and as far as John can tell, she hasn’t looked back since. He remembers the first time he saw her with the new do, which was after the big bomb heist bandages had been pulled off and he finally worked up the nerve to call her again, the sight of her rusty locks ironed straight had shocked him into signing up to AA, so there was some good that came out of her fashion choice. 

She still keeps them mostly straight, though sometimes the ends curl just below her shoulders like they remember when John used to twist his fingers in them.  

Tonight her hair is partially pulled back with clips, and there are lines of grey just above her ears. 

“Dad’s thinking of renovating the porch,” Holly says. “Extending it forward, push a little out into the yard, that sort of thing. I think he wants to fit his sketch set out there? So he’s probably going spend the whole time talking about that.” 

Hah,” John says. “No wonder Lucy weaseled out of going back with you this year.” 

“She’s getting more creative about it, I’ll give her that,” Holly says. She takes a sip of her drink, and sighs. “Jack’ll follow her example soon enough… I’m not looking forward to that one.” 

John wants to say that at least she still has them both signed on for Christmas, but he doesn’t. Instead, he takes a slow sip of his own drink and tries to find something more appropriate. “Are you still with – what’s his name? Grant? Gary?” 

“It’s Gary, and no, it didn’t work out,” Holly says, shrugging a little.  

“Oh, sorry,” John says.  

He’d forgotten how difficult this is. There are too many Do Not Pass Go areas in their conversation, and since John’s got to do a tap dance to avoid the hidden mines, the pauses build up. 

“There’s a chance I might leave the country next year for a while,” Holly says. “We’re opening a new branch overseas so there’s a whole bunch of MD openings.” 

“Hey, that’s good,” John says. “New sights, new people.” 

“I suppose,” Holly says. “But the offer smells. I have the feeling that I might not have even been considered if I weren’t single.” 

John doesn’t even know what to say to that.  

“You seem to be doing okay for yourself, though,” Holly says. 

John says, “Yeah, can’t complain.” 

“Hey, whatever happened to that guy?” Holly says. “The one you’d asked me to help find a new place for?” 

Something in John’s stomach leaps, but he manages to say simply, “Matt, yeah. He’s doing fine.” 

Holly pauses, apparently waiting for John to follow that up, but he isn’t going to. He was tense before but now it’s near unbearable and John doesn’t trust himself to not give anything away.  

Holly says, in a tone that is soft and tentative, “John?” 

“I’m not a bad person,” John says. Where did that come from? 

“I didn’t say you were,” Holly says, surprised. “I’m sorry – whatever I said, I’m—” 

“No, no,” John says quickly. “I’m the one who’s sorry. I’ve got to – I’ve got to go.” 

“Okay, sure,” Holly says, and they stand up together.  

John can’t meet her eyes, can’t bear to know how she’s looking at him – whether confused or knowing or suspicious – so he kisses her on the cheek and makes his exit.  

Hey, he’s entitled to be chicken shit once in a while. Balance of the universe. 

+ + + 

This is bullshit.  

This is bullshit that stinks, and the bottom line is that it gives John a headache. The last time he tried to go inwards he’d ended up folding himself into glass bottles, and that turned out to be a merry-go-round that found brand new ways to fuck with John at each turn. 

He doesn’t want to blame Holly, except he does. 

But not for the earlier things – that’s all dealt with, under the rug, yadda yadda. He blames her for this, because he’d sat across the table from her during dinner and John just knew that anyone who saw them would’ve thought: oh, how nice. And it would have been nice, except that’s not what they are. 

John did pine for Holly for years after she’d gone. The feeling eventually faded away to background noise that was barely noticeable except the times when the apartment felt quieter than usual, but by then it’d become a longing for the idea of Holly (with Lucy and Jack).  

But for the first time in eons, John doesn’t pine anymore, and the last thing he wants to do is feel guilty about it. He’s actually happy – never mind that it’s been a while since he’d been up close and personal with this particular emotion, and that it had never been quite like this. Maybe being happy is like riding a bike: you never forget how, except when you do and end up face first in gravel. 

What a trade-off.  

John gets home, and when he opens the door he can barely see anything because most of the lights are off, leaving the glow of the television set the main source of illumination. 

John frowns. “Matt?” 

“You want to close the door and walk slowly.” Matt’s voice is coming from the couch, and when John’s eyes adjust, he can make out his profile in the shadows. 

“Closing the door and walking slowly,” John says.  

When he approaches, he sees that The Exorcist is on. Matt is clutching a cushion to his chest, bare feet pulled up on to the seat with the rest of him. John sinks into the place next to Matt, and tugs at the cushion. 

“Get your own,” Matt says, eyes never leaving the screen. 

“I am,” John says, and pulls the cushion hard enough for Matt’s fingers to give way. Matt moves a little, letting John drape an arm around his shoulder and shift their bodies closer together despite the fact that Matt’s eyes are still captured by the on-screen action. John presses his nose to the side of Matt’s face.  

“Oh my god, yeah!” Matt says, laughing when pea soup goes flying on-screen. “Oh, shit, I love that part, that’s just genius right there.” 

John shuts his eyes, breathing in the smell of soap and burnt toast. There is a street term for this, and it is called freaking out. 

Which is weird, because John was pretty sure he was done with all that a month or so ago when he finally came to terms with his attraction to a man half his age. Maybe this is the second inning, and he doesn’t even know what this is, only that he’s really liked it so far and he’d made a damn good job of not thinking about it until Holly had to come along and punch him in the chest with a reminder of what the right thing looks like. 

Matt is the wrong size, the wrong shape, the wrong type. 

It doesn’t explain anything.  

Then Matt is turning and kissing John like he can see what’s going on in his head and knows that this is what he needs. John kisses back, and Matt’s mouth is just like the rest of him, subtly unassuming but filled with surprises. The way his tongue moves is positively filthy, and isn’t John supposed to be the one with more experience here? 

He’s breathing heavily before he can help himself, and Matt’s meeting him, the press of his chest solid against John’s. 

God, John’s going to fuck this up. He’s got decades of experience in fucking things up, and he’s gonna do the same here. 

John says, “Matt.” 

“Hmm?” Matt sounds a little dreamy. 

“I was with Holly,” John says. 

Matt goes still, and yup, John just fucked it up. 

“What?” he says. 

“Dinner was with Holly,” John clarifies. “She’s in town, and I guess she thought it would be nice to have a… I don’t know, a chat?” 

Matt hasn’t moved, and John can hear him thinking. John could distract him – he’s recently learned a number of ways to creatively distract Matt – but that doesn’t seem to be the thing to do right now.  

Then Matt’s fingers are moving on John’s neck, tentative and thoughtful, and he says, “Why didn’t you say so?” 

John tells the truth. “I don’t know.” 

Matt pulls back, which John does expect, but he doesn’t expect the way Matt’s hands come round to cup John’s face and bring their eyes to meet.  

“Did it go bad?” Matt asks. 

“What?” John asks, unsure.  

“Your dinner,” Matt says. “Did it go bad?” 

“No, it didn’t go bad,” John says. “But it was… shit.” 

“Shit sounds pretty bad, actually.” Matt’s expression is thoughtful. 

John smiles despite the tightness of his throat. “I could take you out. I should… We could…” 

“We don’t have to do anything,” Matt says. “Really, I’m good, John, I’m—I’m okay.” 

“No, it’s not okay,” John says. 

“John.” Matt’s half-laughing and half-exasperated. “You think you’re the only one who’s weirded out by this? Hate it to break it to you, but you’re not.” 

“Thanks, I feel much better now,” John says wryly. 

Matt, already smiling again, slings an arm around John’s neck. “Improvise! You’re good at that. Just don’t think you have to prove anything to me, okay?” 

That isn’t true, but Matt’s young and doesn’t know any better. John says, “Let me come with you. For Thanksgiving.” 

“What?” Matt’s staring at him. “Wait a minute, what? You want to meet my mom?” 

“Better than being alone here for the weekend,” John admits. 

“You could get traffic duty,” Matt says. “That’s always fun.” 

“I took the whole weekend off.” 

Matt’s mouth falls open, offended. “Why didn’t you just say so? When? Before? Oh my god John, you’re such an idiot.” 

“I know,” John says. 

Matt rolls his eyes. But then he’s pulling at John’s neck and before he knows it, they’re making out. Actually making out, like John isn’t some crotchety old geezer with an expiration date stamped on his shiny bald head. It takes John a moment to get into it because he’s still reeling from how easy Matt makes this, but then he’s right there, following Matt’s mouth as it moves. 

Matt comes up for air. “Is there anything else I should know? I mean, anything important I should know right this instant?” 

“No,” John says. “I think that’s it.” 

“Good,” Matt says. “Wanna fool around?” 

“Not really,” John says. “Mood’s gone.” 

Matt gets to his feet, planting his hands on his waist and looking for all the world like a supervillain ready to declare his foolproof plan. “Fair enough. So you just sit right here, I’m gonna go to the bedroom and jerk off all over your pillow and then—oh shit—” 

John’s on his feet and Matt’s running, half-terrified and half-excited as he mutters “Shit, shit, shit” under his breath with John hot on his heels. 

John manages to get his arms around Matt’s waist, pulling him up hard against his chest and just avoiding getting his teeth bashed in by the back of Matt’s head, but that’s why he’s a cop. 

Then he turns and flings Matt to the bed. “Holy shit!” 

John laughs, because he feels as stupid as Matt looks. He undresses quickly, and Matt’s doing the same except that in his excitement he gets twisted in his shirt and John has to get over there and help out. Helping out, of course, leads to John crawling on top of Matt, and Matt’s soft giggling getting more hysterical until John puts his mouth on Matt’s skin and the sound turns into something else.  

Matt’s relaxed, easily pushed on to his stomach while John takes his time exploring the miles of pale skin. This thing between them is still new, so John hasn’t seen everything Matt has, let alone found all the buttons that he can push. 

“Oral fixation,” Matt says.  

“What?” John removes his mouth from where it had been biting the skin behind one of Matt’s knees. His fingers, however, stay right where they are, working Matt open. 

Matt looks over his shoulder. “Sorry, I was just thinking out loud to distract myself from – oh, I don’t know – how I’m gonna make a real big mess if someone doesn’t get their act together sometime soon!” 

John crooks his fingers, getting a low moan for his troubles. 

“Death by teasing!” Matt says, pushing back on to the fingers. “An ode to Matt Farrell, who died with John McClane’s fingers up his ass!” 

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” John says. Matt really does love finding new ways to be an annoying prick. One day he’ll show Matt how real teasing is done, and then he’ll be sorry. But that won’t happen tonight, so John gets to his knees, pulling Matt’s hips up with him.  

The first breach is always a shock to John, even though he’s used his body to do way more extreme things. Matt isn’t the only one who needs a moment, because John’s whole body winds tight and he has to remind himself that the vice around his dick is just the start of it – there’s more, and it gets better.  

John exhales slowly, turns his neck to remove a crick, then shakes feeling back into his fingers. He strokes Matt’s lower back. “You okay?” 

“Uh,” Matt says. 

John braces his feet and slides in. Despite the tightness around his cock, John forces himself to ignore it as much as he can, and pay attention to Matt instead. This is the only time in the proceedings that Matt’ll be quiet, but John can read the welcome of his body. It’s the sum of a lot of things – his fingers relaxing against the sheets, the shift of his hips as he adjusts, the turn of his neck when the intrusion flips into something good. 

John reaches around to tug at Matt’s cock languidly, getting him back interested though John knows that’ll just make him noisy again. 

“You are an evil man,” Matt says. 

“Yeah,” John agrees. Then he stills Matt’s hips with his hands, and thrusts in sharply.  

After Matt’s mostly done groaning, he says, “Evil, evil man. And a tease. Which is the worst evil of all.” 

The words aren’t that funny but John laughs from the way Matt says it, his head swaying side to side like he’s half-drugged and losing it quickly. John leans forward a little, forcing Matt to rest most of his weight on his arms, so John’s the one holding him on to his dick. 

“I could stay here, just like this,” John breathes. 

“Did I mention evil?” Matt says, his voice muffled by the sheets. 

John adjusts his knees a little and starts thrusting again. “So what does that make you?”  

“No questions, please, busy getting fucked,” Matt says. 

“Damn right,” John says, and he’s pushing in, forcing Matt’s thighs farther apart and that’s really got to burn but the sounds he’s making are nothing if not encouraging. John’s watching the way his body twitches at each thrust, waiting for when Matt starts biting the pillow and – yeah, there they go. 

Matt releases a groan that has the suggestion of pain. 

John pauses. “Is your knee—” 

Yes, my knee is fucking okay!” Matt yells. 

“Fuck,” John mutters. Matt is writhing against the sheets, an impossible wet dream come to life and John just knows that he’s going to pay for this dearly because it’s just too damn good

But hey, he can worry about that later. Right now, Matt’s coming, and that’s more important.  

John wrings out the mess without apology, still thrusting even as Matt cries dissolve into whimpers. Since Matt drives him nuts, it’s only fair. After that, John can’t exactly stop, so he keeps on going, bending over Matt and grunting at the extra effort needed when Matt squeezes down.  

It’s a surprise when John feels Matt’s fingers on his neck. John opens his eyes, realizing that Matt’s turned his head on the pillow, one eye just visible through his damp hair but definitely watching, and he’s definitely reaching one hand up to touch John’s face. 

“God, Matt,” John whispers as he comes. 

When John returns to earth, he finds that he’s mostly sprawled on top of Matt, who’s still shaking. Cursing softly, John rolls off and touches Matt’s arm. “Hey, you okay?” 

Matt rolls on to his back, and his eyes are wide when they settle on John. “When did my life become a porn film?” 

“You got me,” John says. He’s still breathing heavily and wonders, not for the first time, if he could afford to skip his morning runs once in a while for this extra workout he’s getting. 

“Or it could be a sitcom,” Matt says. 

John frowns. “What?” 

“Our lives, a sitcom,” Matt says. “Don’t you see? The hardened New York cop and the spectacularly gifted computer whiz, forced to live together and end up have many wacky adventures. But it’d have to be on Showtime if you want to get all the sex in.” 

“You really need to get out more,” John says. 

“It’s such a turn off whenever you say that,” Matt says. “Just so you know, because we all need a little constructive feedback in our lives.” 

John shifts a little, folding his arms behind his head and settling in to watch Matt gesture with his hands, talking animatedly like he hadn’t just been cursing himself hoarse a couple of minutes ago.  

“Hello? Constructive feedback, hint hint,” Matt says. 

“You talk a lot,” John says. 

“That’s an observation, not feedback,” Matt says. 

John considers the fact that Matt looks no less ridiculous after a good fucking, and that’s just another part of the whole unassuming package that makes him what he is. John says, “Try giving me proper instructions. But, you know, when the situation’s right.” 

Matt doesn’t have a response for that. He just swallows, and then looks up to the ceiling. After a long while, he says quietly, "Noted."

       ~~~~~~~~ Back to Live Free or Die Hard ~~~~~~~~ Act 2


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